Parkhill’s Growth in DFW
Category: Building Community
Written By: Kristen West
Date: April 9, 2020
Parkhill's offices in Arlington and Frisco bring the firm’s West Texas values, quality services, and trusted expertise to the flourishing DFW market. Parkhill opened the Frisco office in 2015, and the Arlington folks came on board when Parkhill merged with the long-established landscape architects and engineers at Schrickel, Rollins and Associates, Inc. (SRA) in 2018.
“It’s been exciting to be able to bring the culture of Parkhill from our West Texas roots and get to see that our local community here is looking for that same type of partnership, the same type of people who are going to roll up their sleeves and be a good citizen, a good community member,” said Director of Community Scott Nelson, AIA. “It’s been a tremendous blessing to be able to see what we can do here locally with that type of culture.”
Scott, who is also a firm principal, established the Frisco office. He said being strategic in the right communities is key to finding good partners. He believes Parkhill will continue to find these opportunities as the metroplex continues to grow.
“From Parkhill’s perspective, the merger has solidified Parkhill’s position in the metroplex, and that’s going to be something that we build on for years to come,” said Vic Baxter, RLA, a 40-year employee and nine-year President of SRA. Vic now serves as Parkhill’s Director of Landscape Architecture and Planning Business Development.
According to a Census Bureau study done between July 2017 and 2018, Frisco is the fourth fastest-growing city in the U.S., and Frisco, McKinney, and Little Elm were all noted for their significant population surges.
Vic said, “The Frisco office is positioned very well to take advantage of the rapid growth going north of Dallas. On the western side of the metroplex, the Arlington office is also strategically located to take advantage of growth on the west side. I see nothing but good possibilities, and our clients have been very receptive.”
Those same Census Bureau statistics tell us that the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metroplex experienced the largest growth of any metroplex from 2017-18, and it remains the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country.
Merging With Schrickel Rollins
Parkhill’s merge with the well-established Arlington design firm Schrickel Rollins & Associates was a game-changer for both companies.
“SRA’s been in the metroplex for 63 years,” Scott said, “and the level of expertise they bring in understanding everything from local zoning to entitlement issues gives us the first-hand, boots-on-the-ground experience that has been beneficial to our firm.”
Together, the two firms have more power to serve our community than either had on its own. SRA was a firm of around 25 people, and the limitations of that size were part of what made the merge so appealing.
“We’ve had cases where we got projects because of the merger that neither firm would have gotten prior,” Scott said. “We bumped up against barriers due to size and having a hard time breaking beyond that. This just blew those doors down. We’re working all over the state now and working on some things we probably never would have had access to prior to that.”
The merge offers clients a greater range and diversity in services. Vic said most projects can be done completely in-house with this newfound multidisciplinary approach between offices in the DFW area.
“We’re getting to further share our expertise because of the SRA merger,” said Scott. “In that regard, we’ve been able to piggyback on one another’s successes to be able to further broaden what we’re offering to our clients.
Parkhill’s mission statement – Building Community – guides all that Parkhill does professionally and personally.
“I’m excited about the motto of Building Community; it’s real,” Vic said. “It’s at the heartbeat of the company, and that’s one of the things that attracted us to Parkhill. That shows in the way we run and design projects. I think it will continue to grow in that way.”
Establishing the Landscape Architecture and Planning Sector
This period of growth bolstered and redefined Parkhill’s landscape architecture and planning capabilities, leading to the creation of Parkhill’s newest sector, the Landscape Architecture and Planning Sector.
Reflecting on the merge, Vic said, “I remember the first day when Joe Rapier was with us, and he said, ‘You’re going to change us.’ It has allowed a reorganization of more than one group, assimilating all the talent that’s here, primarily the landscape architecture group.”
The reorganization and acquisition of talent have transformed the way Parkhill considers landscape architecture and planning services.
“Being more of a design-lead versus an engineering-lead process has been a tremendous benefit to our Frisco office,” said Scott.
Vic agreed, saying “we’re going to support projects and groups all over the state and whatever sector. We’re also looking for opportunities to lead a project or complement efforts design-wise, engineering-wise to broaden that reach.”